When you live in such a pretty city, pesky tourists come with the territory. We jest, of course—we love visitors (except when they clog the sidewalks in aimless groups). Without out-of-towners, we'd have no need for chic boutique hotels, where we can indulge in luxe staycations and dark bars for clandestine drinks.
Among SF's new crop of stylish stays, which includes the Viceroy's recently opened Hotel Zeppelin, is the Axiom Hotel, whose 1908 building at the famous Powell Street turnaround is shining post-modern makeover by NYC firm Stonehill & Taylor, which designed Manhattan's Ace and Nomad hotels. Once a stodgy relic, the Axiom has become eye candy for young design lovers—think cool-and-quirky Ace meets the clubby W.
Instagrammable moments abound here with a striking central staircase (adorned with colorful ropes meant to evoke cable car wires), a neon-lit gym (work it, girls!), and, mimicking the nearby Hotel Zetta, indoor street art murals commissioned by SF's 1AM Gallery.
Locals need not reserve a room to enjoy the hipsterfication of this downtown hub (which, let's be honest, we usually try hard to avoid). Morning coffee, evening cocktails, well-dressed spaces for meetings await at the Turn Cafe, and an extensive all-day menu is served throughout the hotel, in the atmospheric lobby or lounge-like mezzanine with a nook for classic arcade games. A formal meeting space downstairs is primed for networking events and parties.
Guest rooms (152 of them) are, of course, wired for work and play—USB ports are never out of reach, fiber optic WiFi is free and lightning-fast, and a 48-inch Bluetooth-enabled flat screen TV doubles as your room's command post. But there are softer creature comforts too. Hardwood floors, luxurious marble bathrooms, and the type of furnishings you've envied at Room & Board lend the feeling of a sophisticated pied-à-terre.
We also love the hallway hydration stations equipped with mini ice machines, water spigots, and carafes (though we would prefer real glass over plastic).
We suggest pairing your comfy heather gray robes with room service Champagne, and then letting your perfect lazy weekend write itself. // Axiom Hotel, 28 Cyril Magnin (Union Square), axiomhotel.com